Prostate cancer prognosis

A prognosis is a prediction of how something (in this case prostate cancer) will progress or develop. Once a doctor has gathered all the available information about your cancer (many tests may be necessary) and your lifestyle (smoker, drinker, fitness levels) he will make a prognosis of how the cancer is likely to develop over time, and if any treatment may be necessary.

The doctor may decide that a cancer will respond well to treatment, or that treatment will have no impact. A prognosis may change over time, for example successful treatment will have a major impact on the prognosis of the cancer. Also it is impossible to predict exactly a cancer will grow and develop, the rate of growth may slow down or speed up; this also makes prognosis difficult.

It is therefore seen that prostate cancer prognosis is not 100% accurate, none the less it is a very useful technique in the fight against cancer, as it allows necessary decisions to be made.

What does a doctor take into account when making a prognosis

Some of the common things that a doctor takes into account when making a prostate cancer prognosis include the size of the tumor, the location of the tumor, the spread of the cancer. Some of the results that he will have on hand to analyse these conditions include your prostate cancer TNM staging results; your prostate cancer stage score; your Gleason score; and your PSA test score. He will also have your medical record to hand.

Determining a prostate prognosis

The doctor will make your prostate cancer prognosis based upon how your prognosis factors compare with previously case studies whose results are available in the form of indexes and momograms. By matching your prognosis factors with the charts the doctor is able to make a prediction of how the cancer is likely to develop in the future. The doctor may also make use of statistical computer programs. The doctor is likely to give the result in a form of a survival rate over time. For example he may say that there is a 85% chance of you surviving the next five years.

© Prostate Cancer Guide inc. 2006 - 2015